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Vanguard Middle School Band Plays at the Griffins Game

Band members at Vanguard Charter Academy had the honor of playing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Grand Rapids Griffins game. Rachel Tithof, the K-8 music teacher, directed her band students at the hockey game as the Griffins played the Chicago Wolves March 9, losing 4-2.
The band has performed three other years at Griffins games. Last year, Tithof sent in a recording from the school gym due to COVID-19. Tithof completes an online application in order to have the opportunity to perform.
All but one of the 36-member band participated. Students and family members pay for tickets, and a portion of those tickets are donated back to the Vanguard music program.
 Students playing instruments.

“I do this to help expose the kids to bigger performance opportunities that they might see in high school if they decide to stay in band,” Tithof said. “It gives them an opportunity as well to bond with other classmates that they might not normally bond with; it creates sort of family within our band.”
When school starts, Tithof has the band students learning and practicing “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a warm-up and for the past month have really focused on it in class.

Students playing instruments at a hockey game.
Vanguard Charter Academy is part of National Heritage Academies, a charter school management company in Grand Rapids, Mich. with over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.